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Posts Tagged ‘James Hayford’

A poet’s hope: to be,

like some valley cheese,

local, but prized elsewhere.

— James Hayford

A day trip to Vermont recently got me thinking about the poet James Hayford, Amherst Class of 1935. Hayford was that other Vermont poet, the one you’ve probably never heard of.  At Amherst — indeed, throughout his entire life — Hayford was an admitted “disciple” of the more famous New England bard, Robert Frost. 

It is odd that Hayford, a Vermont boy with literary aspirations, had never even heard of Robert Frost until the fall of his sophomore year, when his parents gave him  a copy of Collected Poems (1930) for his birthday. Hayford tells of how first reading Frost was a thrilling revelation: “In Frost’s book I found myself.  This was my country; these were my people, my ways of thinking and feeling, my tones of voice.” (Preface to Star in the Shed Window:  Collected Poems, xi.)  Hayford had found his touchstone.

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